The cost of Labradoodle puppy can vary a lot depending upon where you buy them from. A well raised, healthy Labradoodle usually costs between $1,500 and $2,500 to purchase from a breeder. But Labradoodles from rescue shelters cost significantly less, but you will know less about their history when you bring them home.
Whichever route you choose, the price of bringing a Labradoodle home is a tiny fraction of the lifetime cost of owning them. Today we are going to take a look at what to expect in terms of the initial cost of a Labradoodle puppy or adult. And what you will need to budget to care for them and raise them right throughout their lifetime.
- Cost of Buying a Labradoodle Puppy
- Rescue Labradoodle Price
- Cost of the First Year with a Labradoodle
- Buying your Labradoodle’s Food
- Insurance and Medical Care Costs
How Much Does a Labradoodle Cost from a Breeder?
On average, you can expect to pay a breeder in the region of $1,500 to $2,500 for a Labradoodle puppy. However, some pups exchange hands for even more, if they have something which makes them especially desirable (examples of what that might be coming up!) You may also see Labradoodle puppies advertised for far less. This should be a red flag.
A good breeder spends a great deal of money to produce a healthy litter. The costs of breeding a healthy litter include:
- Health screening for the parents.
- Travel and accommodation to meet a suitable stud dog.
- Veterinary costs for mom and her litter.
- Extra food.
- Whelping supplies, such as a whelping box, heat mats, and bedding.
- Time off work to look after mom, and start socializing her puppies.
Backyard breeders, puppy mills, and online sellers may offer puppies at bargain prices, but only by cutting their own costs first. So their puppies are more likely to leave home with inherited health problems that require expensive treatment later. Or with behavioral problems like separation anxiety or stranger-directed aggression, which are difficult or impossible to overcome.
How Much Does a Labradoodle Cost from a Shelter?
Lots of people are overwhelmed by the upfront cost of a well bred puppy. Adopting a dog from a shelter is one way to find a dog for less, but without supporting unethical breeding practices. Since the Labradoodle has been bred in large numbers to meet demand for puppies, it’s not unusual to find them in shelters either. And some regions even have dedicated rescue organizations which specialize in rehoming Labradoodles and other Poodle crosses.
You can expect to pay in the $50 to $500 range for a rescue dog, depending on the organization. This is a much less expensive route and adoption fees often cover things like initial vaccinations and microchipping.
Inevitably with rescue dogs, there are things you won’t know about them, which might cost you more than the price of a puppy in the long term. Such as whether they carry any late-onset inherited diseases, or are reactive to certain triggers. However, reputable rescues are also likely to have given their dogs’ health and temperament tests, so that they can best match their dogs to new homes.
What Factors Determine Labradoodle Cost?
There are a number of factors which may make people willing to pay more for a Labradoodle.
Good breeders are rarely in it for the money. Even if they sell their puppies for a more money than they spent on them, the profit divided by the number of hours they spent caring the dam and her litter works out in cents!
All breeders have their own personal philosophy on pricing pups. They might have a reputation and a waiting list which means they can charge more than the competition. They might also charge highly to deter people from buying their puppies on impulse.
Provided you ask politely, a reputable breeder will be happy to explain how they arrived at the cost of their puppies. Then it’s up to you to decide whether you’re satisfied that their price is fair and reasonable. But a breeder who refuses to discuss how they set their price at all may be attempting to cover up the fact that their puppies have been very poorly raised and are not worth the asking price.
2. Breeding Stock
Breeders who invest in meticulous health screening of their sire and dam may pass the cost of that onto their buyers, and they have every right to do so. Puppies from thoroughly health tested parents cost more upfront, but they are likely to cost less in lifetime veterinary fees. Labradoodle puppies from parents with show or field titles may also be advertised at higher prices.
3. Coat Color and Type
Unusual coat colors and patterns such as sable, parti or phantom Labradoodles can fetch upwards of an additional $1,000 – simply because people perceive perceive rare things as being more desirable, and are willing to pay more for them. On the other hand, since most people want their Labradoodle to have a low-shedding coat, puppies which have clearly inherited the Labrador’s short shedding coat might be offered for less money.
The puppies of Labradoodles that have been backcrossed with a purebred Poodle will have a greater chance of inheriting the Poodle coat. So F1b or F2b Labradoodles with more Poodle than Labrador in their DNA might also be offered at higher prices than F1 Labradoodles.
4. Other factors
There are other things which might affect Labradoodle costs too. For example, in cities and urban areas, miniature Labradoodles might command higher prices than standard Labradoodles.
Some factors have nothing to do with the dog at all. For example, many reputable breeders avoid producing litters around Christmas time to avoid buyers passing them on as gifts to other people, or buying them on impulse without really thinking it through. Low quality breeders on the other hand, tend to push their prices up at this time of year.
The Cost of Owning a Labradoodle in the First Year
Whether you go a shelter or a breeder, adoption fees and purchase price are only the beginning of what it costs to own a Labradoodle. In fact, this initial outlay will be a drop in the bucket compared to what you’ll spend over the course of your dog’s life. The first year will typically be the most expensive because this is when most major expenses occur. Such as
- Having the dog spay or neutered.
- Training classes.
- Accessories like a crate, bedding, toys, collar and leash.
The Real Cost of Owning a Labradoodle
The average lifetime costs of a medium dog with an average life expectancy of 13 years are estimated to be over $15,000. A large dog, with an average life expectancy of 10 years will cost in the region of $14,000. However, there are several reasons to expect that a Labradoodle will cost more than average:
- The Labradoodle’s curly coat grows continuously and needs regular clipping, which means regular visits to a professional groomer will also need to be added to the budget.
- Labradoodles have a high frequency of joint disorders such as hip and elbow dysplasia, which may require expensive monthly prescriptions to manage.
Bear in mind that If you’re planning on sending your pup to doggy daycare, these costs also have to be added in.
How Much Does a Labradoodle Cost to Keep?
Bringing a puppy into your life comes with the responsibility to keep him healthy and happy. From food to medical costs, from toys to grooming, there a number of regular expenses that come with owning a dog.
A PDSA Report in the UK found that 69% of dog owners underestimated the monthly cost of dog ownership. Be honest with yourself about how you’re going to meet the recurring costs of owning a dog. And how you’re going to meet unexpected bills, like emergency veterinary care.
How Much Does Labradoodle Food Cost?
Food is such an essential part of ensuring your dog is healthy and there is a wide range of commercial dog foods available. You can spend tens, or hundred of dollars per month!
Always choose a good quality food that lists animal protein as the first ingredient and avoid brands that include meat by-products, fillers, and artificial ingredients that can cause gastrointestinal problems and allergic reactions. This article on feeding a Labradoodle puppy can guide you.
How Much Does Labradoodle Medical Care Cost?
Feeding your dog a healthy diet and ensuring an active dog like the Labradoodle gets enough exercise will go a long way to reducing medical costs. However, any dog can develop health issues that require treatment that can run into thousands of dollars. Health problems that the Labradoodle can be susceptible to include:
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Skin infections
- Ear infections
- Addison’s disease
- Thyroid problems
How Much Do Labradoodles Cost?
Well bred Labradoodles cost a lot of money. Unfortunately, bad dog breeding has become a huge industry and there is no shortage of puppy mills, backyard breeders, and disreputable people online who want to sell you a Labradoodle.
The result is many poor animals with myriad health problems and temperamental issues. Those looking for a bargain when they buy will usually end up spending far more on vet bills to care for an unhealthy dog in the long run. Or on behaviorist fees to manage behavioral problems.
Do your research and buy from a breeder who can prove the health and well being of their litter.
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References and Further Reading
- Farrell, LL, et al. “The challenges of pedigree dog health: approaches to combating inherited disease,” Canine Genetics and Epidemiology, 2015
- Reisen, J. “How Much Will You Spend on Your Dog in His Lifetime?” American Kennel Club, 2017.
- PAW PDSA, Animal Wellbeing Report, 2018.
- Henderson, S. “Spending on pets: “Tails” from the Consumer Expenditure Survey,” Beyond the Numbers, US Department of Labor Statistics, 2013.
- Serpel, J. “The Domestic Dog: Its Evolution, Behavior and Interactions with People,” Cambridge University Press, 2016.